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While driving down University Avenue lately, I’ve noticed huge lineups in front of the U.S. Consulate

While driving down University Avenue lately, I’ve noticed huge lineups in front of the U.S. Consulate. What is everybody waiting for?—Rob Barnes, Riverdale

The people in line are mostly non–Canadian citizens seeking visas to the U.S. The droves used to be hidden away at the back of the building but were shipped to the curb this fall to keep clear of construction. Although the lineups are alfresco, you still can’t just show up; you need an appointment to shiver outside. The waits—already dragging on for several hours—risk getting worse. In the near future, landed immigrants from such Commonwealth countries as India and Pakistan will also need visas to cross into the States. But relief is on the horizon: coming soon is a nifty new shelter, complete with heat in winter and AC in summer. Alas, its unveiling may result in another wait, so you can expect the madding crowds for a while yet.

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